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Would I Be a Failure If…..

I need your help as I have a dilemma. I’m not normally one to ask for comments or opinions but I’m really torn. Doing Hadrian’s Wall training now for about 6 months, I’ve only carried nearly full bag twice. That’s 25kg. Having only carried it twice, first time was ok and second I strained my ankle which has now led to Achilles pain on the same foot. I had a look for potential solutions and the obvious one is to carry less. So a support driver or another option. Heavy items in the bag are tent, sleeping bag, food for the week and spare clothes. All non essential for the daytime walking. As we don’t have a support driver, one option is a baggage drop service where they’ll take 15kg to your next campsite. This means effectively my bag could weigh 10kg and make the trek loads more enjoyable. But is using the baggage support cheating? Especially considering we’re doing it for charity? Please give me your honest views not just the ones you think I wanna hear. Appreciate it,Phill]]>


  1. Huw Fletcher Reply

    Would you be a failure if you took an action that lessened the chance of an injury that prevented you from completing the task?
    No! If it makes it easier for you go for it. If it was a weekend thing I’d come and drive for you ?

  2. Clare Ingram Reply

    Not cheating at all and sounds immensely sensible. Don’t be so hard on yourself (I know we’re always our own worst critic). You’ve gone from being in pain with your back to walking Hadrian’s Wall, that is a massive achievement!
    Would you consider someone who cycled LEJOG with a support car a “cheater”? I wouldn’t and this is no different x

  3. Natalie Ray Reply

    Carry a bivvy bag instead of a tent? It shouldn’t weigh that much. Take some advice from people who run ultra marathons on reducing the weight because they manage with really small packs that they have to run with. Whether other people think you’d be a failure or not is irrelevant. If you’re happy using a baggage drop, use one. If not, reduce the weight.

    1. Phill Joseph Palmer Reply

      Ultra marathons aren’t running for 7 days having to carry their own food and home away from home that’s the issue. I’m not a seasoned hiker so dont think I could cope with a Bivvy especially if it rains. Could possibly look at food drops etc.

    2. Natalie Ray Reply

      That’s what I mean, the long one-stage racers do just that. I think you’ve answered your own question though, you’ll need to get some help as a bivvy instead of a tent is the only way to safely reduce the weight and you can’t risk injury or you won’t make it.

  4. Gareth Torrance Reply

    I can’t really answer your question about it being cheating, as I really don’t know… But it certainly sounds like the sensible option…

  5. Joanne Mallon Reply

    No, I think it sounds like a wise move, if anything. You’re still doing the walk and that’s the important part.

  6. David Mellor Reply

    No shame in getting help if you’re injured Phill. Better to complete the walk and raise money (and the all important awareness) than struggle to do any of it. As such, a transport service would do the job. I’m not sure how big your team is but depending on numbers another very simple option is to split the kit. That’s what team mates are for. Every expedition I’ve ever led has resulted in kit getting moved around as one member or another struggles. It’ll also save you money ??. Very best of luck with it either way.

    1. David Mellor Reply

      Yeah I understand that. However, if the people you’re with are experienced backpackers of have experience of expeditions it really won’t be uncommon to them, so don’t be afraid to explore it with them. Dropping 10kg between 5 other members (for example) is very doable. Like I said though, the bag drop is also a great option and you shouldn’t feel negative about it. Either way, you’re transporting yourself across a significant distance ??

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